Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Streets of Cusco

At 11,200 ft, Cusco was the highest point on our tour - oxygen was pumped into our hotel rooms to alleviate altitude sickness, not that we needed it.  The only symptoms we had was the shortness of breath when we climbed a small incline to the Inca Museum.  Old town Cusco was charming and very walkable with its cobbled streets and Incan stone walls.  The shots below will give you a good idea of the ambiance of the ancient city.

Most of the traffic cops are female - but notice the holster

Not understanding the words on the sign, we thought  these two  were protesting something on the main street, that's why they were wearing masks.  Of course, when I looked up the Spanish, it was anti-climactical - all it says: "Respect the pedestrian crossing"!   So these were crossing guards????

And these girls need to be reminded to stay on the sidewalk!

Businesses housed in original Inca buildings

The Jesuit Iglesia de la Compania on one side of the Plaza de Armas
The Cathedral at the centre of the Plaza - no photos allowed inside.  There were some interesting nougats, like the silver altar that sits permanently on a chassis so that the it no longer had to be carried on people's shoulders.  Having seen the excruciating way this was done in Lima, I can see why this must be a great relief for the faithful.

Colonial arcades in the Plaza de Armas

The leafy Plaza Regocijo near our hotel

Houses built all the way up the hillside - there are some very steep streets 

Interesting-looking facades as you leave the city centre - this is the neighbourhood where our guide took us to visit the silver shop outlet.  There could be a courtyard and another house behind the facade.

Impressive Incan walls lined many of the streets in the old town 

View from the Plaza de Armas up the hill during the day

and the same view at night

Night view of the Plaza and the houses in the surrounding suburbs - and fireworks!

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